Technology and social media have definitely changed things for hunters and the outdoor industry – some things significantly and others not so much.
Back in the day, hunters learned how to do things from a family member or friend that mentored them, passing on their traditions and ways.
Holly Overman from Doe Range recently interviewed Brenda Valentine, an award winning author, photographer and hunting personality – often dubbed the First Lady of Hunting TM – about what it was like hunting before technology.
“Before we had technology to forecast weather days, know the wind direction, getting pictures of game in the area, and their daily routine, we depended on our woodsmanship skills to be successful hunters. Rangefinders have changed bow hunting so much as have map apps as well. I still much prefer to do my scouting by boots on the ground and personal observation. I also enjoy the element of surprise so I’ve gotten away from running trail cams for game census. It’s more exciting for me to actually see a deer for the first time from a stand than to have a card full of pictures and spend the entire season waiting on it to show up.”
A well-experienced hunter scouts and studies the land to gather information for their hunts. They’ll look for tracks, habitats, and markings like rubs and scrapes. Plus seeing what direction they’re going as well as what food and water sources they’re using. They’ll judge where and when to hunt by the weather, wind direction, and barometric pressure. While hunting, they’ll watch for any sign of movement, and listen for what could be coming through.
Technology has given us ways to better scout and establish locations. It’s also given us access to information from others to learn from. Everyone has their favorite preferences for using it as well.
Brenda says her favorite piece of technology is simply her cell phone. “I can now check in my game immediately from the field and grab a few quick photos before the meat processing work begins.”
Social media gives us the ability to connect with others that share in the same interests and opens doors to many opportunities to improve our hunting. But social media also gives anti-hunters a new platform to harass hunters with. It’s even sadder when bashing and bullying is going on among hunters as well. Not to mention the repetitious questions like “Would you shoot or pass?” and “Is he big enough?” Seriously? If you like the buck and it’s legal then shoot. If your just going to compare him to someone else’s buck then you’ll never be happy.
So much emphasis is put on getting the “trophy buck”. It’s more about your whole experience while feeding the family. Sure getting a “trophy” buck is great, but that shouldn’t be your main goal. Some hunters need to go back to their roots and ask themselves why they hunt in the first place. I wonder if some would still hunt even if we didn’t have all these luxuries of modern technology – if we had to do things the ‘old fashioned way’.
I asked Brenda what her thoughts were on social media.
“I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It’s fun keeping up with friends and sharing things I feel are important. However I see too much jealousy and rudeness displayed there also.”
So do I wish that technology and social media didn’t exist?
No, because they do provide great opportunities and make hunting a little easier. But I do think we need to just enjoy hunting like we’re supposed to and support other hunters along the way, especially the younger generation.
Question: what is your view on social media and hunting? Does it make it easier to be a hunter, or does it just create more opportunities for anti-hunters to attack?
About Holly Overman
Holly was born and raised in West Tennessee. She is grounded in her faith and family values that she still lives by today. Her love of the outdoors began at a young age fishing with her grandfather. But she didn’t get into hunting until after she met her husband.
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